Theme: Birth Is a Human Rights Issue
A goal of Midwifery Today is for birth to be safe and compassionate for every motherbaby, everywhere. We hold conferences and publish articles in order to teach the world about childbirth that is physiologic, safe and honoring to both the mother and the baby in all aspects, including emotional, physical and spiritual. In this issue, we are pleased to offer compelling and thought-provoking articles surrounding our theme of “Birth Is a Human Rights Issue.” Michel Odent, Sister MorningStar, Robin Lim and others have written specifically on this theme. We also have a wonderful article on herbs by Susun S. Weed, and Elizabeth Davis has written a piece titled “The Lost Arts of Midwifery: Core Skills to Be Reclaimed.”
Pictured: Lulu Soares wanted a natural delivery, but every doctor told her that she would need a cesarean because of her physical disability. When she was 7 years old, she was hit by a truck and had both legs amputated. With Elis’ help, they created a maternity photo session focused on “I can do it” (playing off of Rosie the Riveter’s “We can do it!” poster), and they started an Internet campaign to raise money for Lulu to see Dr. Victor Rodrigues—a doctor willing to support her wish to birth naturally. And Lulu did! You can learn more about her birth in this issue’s Photo Album on page 64. Elis: Lulu “is very strong and an example for many women.”
- From the Editor
An appropriate article for the theme of our magazine! Midwifery Today’s mother, Jan Tritten, shares her thoughts surrounding this important topic.
- Tricks of the Trade
- Marion’s Message
The field of epigenetics shows us that our chromosomes and their expression in our lives are affected by processes that are triggered by our experiences.
- Classified Advertising
- Photo Album
- Human Rights in Childbirth: A Basket of Stories—Ibu Robin Lim
International midwife Robin Lim shares different stories to prove her point about the importance of human rights in childbirth around the globe.
- What If, What For and What Now: Human Rights and Cultural Rights in Childbirth—Sister MorningStar
One of the most tragic destructions of indigenous sacred female knowledge is the false superiority and medicalization of childbirth by professionals among native peoples.
- The Right to Challenge Tradition and Cultural Conditioning—Michel Odent
Natural childbirth advocate and obstetrician Michel Odent discusses cultural interferences in childbirth and the repercussions these have had on human development.
- The Lost Arts of Midwifery: Core Skills to Be Reclaimed—Elizabeth Davis
Midwife teacher Elizabeth Davis discusses holistic care, touching on her views of the importance of skills that may be on the decline within midwifery, specifically pelvimetry.
- Reflecting on Fiji: Highlights from the Midwifery Today Conference—Jan Tritten
Complete with the prime minister of Fiji’s opening speech, Jan shares some of the highlights from a truly inspiring conference in the South Seas.
- The Breast Crawl—Leilani Rogers
A photographer captures one of wonders of newborn intuition: finding the mother’s breast.
- Fetal Metabolic Programming for Life: How a Midwife’s Nutritional Counseling Can Make a Lifelong Difference—Pam England
Since the 1930s, research has consistently shown that what mothers eat is the single most important factor in growing a healthy baby and placenta.
- A Hard Day’s Night: Midwives and Sleep Deprivation—Bonnie U. Gruenberg
Author Bonnie U. Gruenberg touches on a subject many birthworkers are unfortunately all too familiar with: sleep deprivation.
- How a Checklist Promotes Human Rights in Childbirth: The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative—Vicki Penwell
Midwife Viki Penwell shares a simple and practical tool to get better outcomes in childbirth.
- Raspberry Leaf: Wonderful or Wacky?—Susun Weed
A helpful article by herbalist Susun S. Weed on the benefits of raspberry leaf, particularly in tea form, during pregnancy.
- Martha Mears: Nature’s Midwife—Jane Beal
Another wonderful historical midwife account by author Jane Beal.
- All Izz Not Well—Lina Duncan
Midwife Line Duncan provides an update on birth in India.
- Equality for Midwives—Hermine Hayes-Klein and Bashi Kumar-Hazard
The picture of partnership and integration between medicine and midwifery is, however, a patchwork across Europe, across the United States, and around the world, in both law and practice.
- Human Rights in Obstetrics—Beverley A. Lawrence Beech
Midwife Beverly Beech discusses the importance of human rights in maternity care.
= Membership Article.